Together with technological innovation, educators discovered a new channel to communicate with students. Online education is now gaining more popularity than ever before. Not only that is highly convenient for students to acquire education through the internet, it likewise allows them to choose from a wide variety of online schools and programs that are not available in their area. Furthermore, people with full time or part time jobs could still acquire quality education from these online schools.
Online education isn’t the best choice for everyone though. Contrary to the belief that this innovative medium for education would be cheaper compared to the traditional schools, minus the expenses for lodging and travel, most of online programs still cost close enough to the conventional one.
The good news is that students can still apply for online school grants to help them obtain a degree at a lesser cost, or even free. Unlike loans and scholarships, the grant money need not to be paid back and is awarded solely based on one’s financial need. With that, students who can present great need for school funding will get the money.
Qualification begins with the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can get the application from the official website of the federal student aid. You or your family’s financial capability is reflected in your FAFSA report, particularly in the Expected Family Contribution or the EFC. Once the application is completed and submitted, the U.S. Department of Education will notify you whether you qualified for the grant money or not. And once eligibility has been determined, you can talk to your school financial aid advisor to help you choose particular grants that you can apply for.
The amount of the grant money depends on various factors, such as the financial need, costs of attending school, and student status (full time or part time).
The most common source of funds for undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s degree or a professional degree is through the Federal Pell Grant. For teachers who are willing to teach in low-income areas can apply for the TEACH Grant, while students who are inclined to study science, computer science, math, or language courses or which that have direct impact on national security can apply for the federal SMART Grant.
If you are not eligible for a federal grant, you may still qualify for other grant programs. Students who desire to enroll in a technical or critical shortage degree courses may seek financial assistance from professional organizations associated with their field of study. These programs are typically merit-based and offered as scholarships to particular types of students such as the underrepresented or the minority group.
When you apply for grants, you have to make sure that your online school is accredited by the grant program otherwise you won’t enjoy free education at all.